The Bridge Kingdom
Author Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher Context Literary Agency | 2019
Lara has only one thought for her husband on their wedding day: I will bring your kingdom to its knees. A princess trained from childhood to be a lethal spy, Lara knows that the Bridge Kingdom represents both legendary evil – and legendary promise. The only route through a storm-ravaged world, the Bridge Kingdom controls all trade and travel between lands, allowing its ruler to enrich himself and deprive his enemies, including Lara’s homeland. So when she is sent as a bride under the guise of fulfilling a treaty of peace, Lara is prepared to do whatever it takes to fracture the defenses of the impenetrable Bridge Kingdom.
But as she infiltrates her new home – a lush paradise surrounded by tempest seas – and comes to know her new husband, Aren, Lara begins to question where the true evil resides. Around her, she sees a kingdom fighting for survival, and in Aren, a man fiercely protective of his people. As her mission drives her to deeper understanding of the fight to possess the bridge, Lara finds the simmering attraction between her and Aren impossible to ignore. Her goal nearly within reach, Lara will have to decide her own fate: Will she be the destroyer of a king or the savior of her people? (from Goodreads)
This review is spoiler freeeeeeee! 🙂
“‘You murdered your sisters for the good of our country?’ His voice was amused.
Lara forced a dry chuckle from her lips. ‘Hardly. I murdered them because I wished to live.'”
FIRST OFF, A WARNING. A warning for you, dear reader, to heed, because I did not. I’d seen rave reviews for this book all over bookstagram, and the premise seemed right up my alley, AND IT WAS. And I’d heard that there was a massive cliffhanger. I knew that. What I did NOT know, was that THE NEXT BOOK WAS NOT FRICKIN’ OUT YET, because I had mistakenly seen posts about the audiobook for the sequel being released, when that is ALL THERE IS. The actual book doesn’t come out until SEPTEMBER, unless you want to listen to it on audio. Unfortunately for me, my time in quarantine is making it extremely difficult to focus on audiobooks, especially fantasy ones, so it looks like I’m gonna have to SUFFER with this cliffhanger until September. Woe is me.
ANYWAY, I loved this book. It was my favorite brand of enemies to lovers, right in the vein of The Wrath and the Dawn and The Shadows Between Us, both of which I love. The relationship between Lara and Aren was intriguing from the start, and it was soooo much fun to see them deal with the obstacles of an arranged marriage. Y’all know I LOVE A DUAL POV ROMANCE and this one didn’t let down. It was thrilling to see behind Lara’s manipulation and also STRESSFUL because man, that girl was not too subtle. Aren’s chapters were a delight, if only just to see how he was reacting to everything that Lara did. I thought they were a great pair and I liked that the plot didn’t follow a super predictable structure.
The reason I rounded my 4.5 rating down to four instead of five stars was just some technicality issues. I thought the pacing of the last hundred pages felt a little rushed and there was a looot of information being thrown at you. Some of the politics went over my head and it was a little hard to follow what was happening. That being said, the ending was really great and it made me really excited for the next book (ONLY TO DISCOVER I COULD NOT READ IT AHHHH). Still, I think it sets up a fun premise and maybe if I give it a bit of time I’ll be able to calm down enough to focus on the audiobook and get the sequel a little earlier. 🙂